Bastille Day 2023: Where to Celebrate in San Francisco

Bastille day table set up decoration

While there will be no shortage of festivities to celebrate July 14th this year, there will be one major absentee: the traditional Bastille Day festival, organized on Embarcadero Plaza by the Comité Officiel des Associations Françaises de la Baie de San Francisco, will unfortunately not be taking place, due to a lack of funds to organize it. We’re told it’ll be postponed until next year. In the meantime, here’s an extensive and eclectic list of Bastille Day events in and around San Francisco.

Bardot a Go Go celebrates its 25th anniversary

Get out your bell-bottoms and floral shirts, your mini skirt and leather boots… The “Bardot a Go Go” party will be celebrating its 25th anniversary at the Rickshaw Stop in Hayes Valley on Friday, July 14. Three DJs, Brother Grimm, Pink Frankenstein, and Cali Kid, the originators of the evening, will take turns at the turntable to get people dancing to Cloclo, Jacques Dutronc, Antoine, Michel Polnareff, and of course Brigitte Bardot! Les Bouffants Dangereux will be offering special sixties haircuts at the start of the evening. Friday, July 14, from 9pm. Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell Street, San Francisco. Info.

French music and gastronomy at AFSF

The Alliance Française theater, rendered unusable following a flood, will reopen its doors for Bastille Day. The evening will be festive, with French wine and charcuterie and cheese tastings, punctuated by musical and dance performances. The evening will conclude with a French House DJ set, mixed by Damien Bouges. Friday, July 14, 6pm to 11pm. 1345 Bush St, San Francisco. Info.

Bastille on Belden

In San Francisco, on Belden Lane, several restaurants in this charming alleyway will be celebrating Bastille Day, with special menus, music by the Vintage Jukebox orchestra, and free beret distribution. Reservations are recommended at Café Bastille, B44 Catalan Bistro, Sam’s Grill, Café Tiramisu, Leleka, and Toy Soldier. Friday, July 14 from 4:30pm to 9:30pm. Belden Lane, San Francisco. Info.

Gypsy jazz at the Mechanics Institute

Le Jazz Hot will host a Bastille Day evening in the superb historic Mechanics’ Institute building, founded in the 1850s. Referencing the Quintette du Hot Club de France formed by Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli in 1934, this orchestra draws its inspiration from the heyday of gypsy jazz, and promises a swinging evening. Friday, July 14, 7pm. 57 Post Street, San Francisco. Info.

A picnic in Santa Rosa

For the second year running, the Goguette Bread bakery and patisserie will be celebrating Bastille Day with a big picnic: cheese, wine, homemade ice cream, French music, and more are on the program for this family event open to all. Saturday, July 15, 4pm to 8pm. 59 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa. Info.

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